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My own commission rates are still rock bottom.

§ July 1st, 2024 § Filed under commissions, Uncategorized § 16 Comments

Once again posting plans have been derailed due to Real Life stuff…I mean, last night, the blogging mind was willing, but the flesh was weak. Okay, to be fair, the mind’s pretty weak too, but hopefully I’ll be back in blogging shape later this week.

In the meantime, the buzz on the street right now is about DC Comics President/Publisher/Man About Town Jim Lee and his recently announced art commission prices:

“For the first time in over 15 years, Jim Lee will be taking commission requests to be delivered exclusively almost all shows he is appearing.

“This offer is an exclusive for show attendees only and won’t be shipped out. There is a limit to six per show so act fast to get yours.

“Penciled and inked by Jim Lee.

“11 by 17 inches, full figure one character with limited backgrounds for $20,000, if more than one character or extra backgrounds or recreation of other covers not drawn by Jim will be $25,000 to $35,000

“9 by 12 inches, waist on up figure with limited backgrounds is $9,000 to $15,000, will have backgrounds and more you pay can have other characters or scenes.

“small head shot, sample is shown, $1000. Size is 3.25 by 7 inches and side profile only.

“Blank cover comic, only bust shot with no background $8,000. And 12k if it a wraparound. Jim Lee will supply the blank cover comic but you can supply at the show if you like.

“Jim Lee will ultimately choose which commissions request he wants to fulfill. Once chosen, payment must be paid in full before the show. He may choose to live stream the creation of the commissions at his studio or at the show.”

There’s some online outrage at these rates, but, honestly…you get that money, Jim Lee. The dude is one of the Top Guys in comics, head of one of oldest and biggest comic book publishers in the country, and even though his output is usually limited to the occasional cover, still remains one of the industry’s superstars. He’ll get takers, no problem. In fact, as I’m writing this I’d be surprised if all slots weren’t already filled.

Is there anyone else in the business right now who could get this level of commission prices? I’d say probably just Todd McFarlane, someone with a similar background (rose to fame working for Marvel, split off to form Image Comics) and is held in similar regard by their fans. I suppose if Steve Ditko were still alive and were, well, an entirely different person, he could have opened up to commissions on this level.

Anyway, this is pretty wild news and has me wondering if other artists are suddenly going to reconsider their own rates. I mean, not up to Jim Lee levels (though I can picture a couple of former Huge Superstars who’d try to pull this off) but maybe thinking “…I can probably bump things up, like, 10% to 20%”). Worth keeping an eye on.